Former Detroit Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, has been granted early release and will be freed 21 years earlier next month to home confinement, according to the Detroit Free Press. Kilpatrick, 49, was originally scheduled to be released in the year 2037 after being convicted on 24 counts of public corruption including bribery, racketeering and fraud.
Kilpatrick, who used to wear a diamond stud in his ear, was dubbed the “hip-hop mayor.”
William Barr, the U.S. Attorney General, has ordered the federal Bureau of Prisons to release as many inmates as possible to home confinement due to COVID-19. The coronavirus has been seen to spread rapidly in prisons where the opportunity to social distance is severely limited.
The Ebony Foundation have been champions of freeing the former disgraced mayor, partnering with several other black leaders to petition for Kilpatrick’s release. The National Baptist Convention of America, the NAACP, the National Business League, and several pastors of Black churches across the country had petitioned President Donald Trump to grant clemency to Kilpatrick.
“He said that he was being released,” state Rep. Karen Whitsett, D-Detroit, who has been pushing for Kilpatrick’s freedom said, adding: “I’m elated for him. … An out is an out. … He’s done his time. And I think, ‘My God, when is long enough long enough.’ ”
Whitsett, also told the Detroit Free press, that she confirmed with the White House that Kilpatrick is among 3,000 inmates who will be released. Whitsett had previously tested positive for the coronavirus in March and has credited Donald Trump for promoting hydroxychloroquine which she believes saved her life.
Current Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan was asked during a press briefing for his thoughts on the situation.
“Known him since he was in high school. When he was teaching at Marcus Garvey and going to law school at night at DCL, he’d study in his father’s office which was next to mine and his twins would play on the floor in my office,” Duggan told Fox 2 Detroit.
Duggan said his connection to Kilpatrick is “very personal.”
“He has a lot to contribute and if, in fact, the reports [of his early release] are true, I’ll be doing anything I can to help him get a fresh start,” the mayor said.